Arguments. Yep, it’s something that happens in every relationship. It can be seen as a negative word. For me, if good comes out of the argument then mark that as a “win”. Arguments can test any relationship, but they can show you what you’re made of and bring you closer. The key to arguments is to remember to “fight fairly”. I think things go from bad to worse when you start bringing up things from the past, can’t accept what part you’ve played or speak on subjects that aren’t relevant to the current situation. “Yeah, I did do that, BUUUTTTTT six months ago, you remember when you did something similar.” “That’s NOT my fault!” To me, “fighting fairly” means to stay on topic, be open-minded and accept that you’re not perfect or 100% innocent.
This week’s edition of Weeknight Date Night was selected by Anthony. We’ve been married a mere nine months, but we’ve had our fair share of arguments. I’m the first to admit that I don’t always “fight fairly”. I sometimes play arguments like a chess game instead of being completely vulnerable and open. Since we’re married I know all his “weaknesses” when it comes to arguing. I take those things and tend to use them against him. If I’m busy trying to hurt him I can’t fully engage in the argument and gain a “win” at the end. To gain “wins” from future arguments Anthony had a great date night planned.
Anthony informed me that we were leaving our house at 6:30pm, and I needed to dress comfortably. We arrived at our destination and to my surprise it was Dollar General Store. He let me know that we had a budget of $20, and we were looking for two picture frames as well as an item to show appreciation for the other one. We quickly found the picture frames and then it was on to search for the appreciation items. Again, Anthony found his item in no time. I had to ask for further clarification and then an extra five minutes. In the end, I found the perfect item to give to Anthony. We checked out, and I’m happy to report we only spend $14. We were both starving and Santa (mom) gave us several restaurant gift cards in our stockings. We decided to use one of the gift cards and grab a quick meal before finishing the date.
We made it back home and Anthony explained the next part of the date. He told me that in the heat of the moment things are said that we don’t mean. The second part of our date was to write a list of things we loved about the other and put them in the picture frames we bought. So, when we’re upset and sitting in different rooms of the house we can pull out our list and see how the other one really feels. I thought this was a great idea, because arguments can be emotionally draining. To have a list of things your mate wrote about you is uplifting especially when you’re not feeling too great. The list can also be used as encouragement when you’re not having a great day. Another idea is for us to look at our list as we start our day.
Below are both of our lists
Anthony’s list to me:
- I love your creativity
- I love the way you put others before yourself
- I admire your selflessness
- You are beautiful
- I love your style
- I admire your work ethic
- I love your passion and determination
- I admire your intellect
- You are compassionate
- You are loving
- You are caring
- I admire how you put charity as a priority
- I love the way you motivate me
- You are supportive
- You are my everything
My list to Anthony
- Hard Worker
- Open Minded
- Has Faith
- Listens to God
- Let’s me be me
- Allows me to love you
- Will do anything for me
- Takes care of me
- Sets goals and accomplishes them
We ended the date by talking through both lists. This lead to other conversations about our relationship. This date was amazing and right on time because I’m happy to report we’ve had an argument since this date. I’m even happier to report we were eventually able to “fight fairly” and gain a “win” from the argument. The most amazing thing is during the argument these lists entered the conversation.
Arguments are bound to happen in all healthy relationships. Just remember to “fight fairly” and try your best to gain a “win” from the argument!
All pictures by Ivory Door Studio